Today, I saw someone from a period of time in my life where I was hoping beyond hope that I could erase the past. I didn’t want a fresh start, I wanted to literally wipe out the past and start with a new identity. I was so ashamed of choices I had made, of how I grew up, of where and how and what opportunities I thought I’d squandered and I was so hell-bent on erasing it all.
I wanted to be someone else, and all my fire and creative force was leveraged against wiping out every trace of my history so I could finally be, do and have what I wanted.
I was the most ineffectual shred of who I am at that time. I was a sliver of myself. I percieved myself as damaged goods and I brought more of that stuff into my life, despite my radical, full-time self-betterment.
Today, let’s talk about owning the parts of life we may want to erase. Instead of erasing them, love them. Instead of shame or blame, find power. As you do this, you’ll start to see just how much more powerful you become when you restore integrity to a life that’s being shred into bits by self-judgement so, whole and imperfect and incredibly human, you can thrive.
I didn’t realize in wanting to erase a lot of my past that 1. what I was trying to do was impossible and 2. what I was doing was wishing to wipe out so much of what made me extraordinary.
In the process, I also sank into a dark hole, a chaos that was unending, because I thought that if I could just be anyone but myself I would be ok.
I was lucky enough to get interrupted in my quest to erase my memories and divorce myslf from my life story by a lot of real crisis that made me see, after all that striving, that I was actually so valuble because of who I was… and now I wouldnt trade that for anything in the world.
You don’t have to fall into a black hole of self-hatred to find the place of peace and wholeness. You don’t even have to know a special formula or method.
You know what you try to hide or wish you could change or feel insecure about.
Instead: own it.
Sure, you can improve habits, you can evolve, you can be involved in all sorts of self-healing and all of it is great— but you can’t really change something you can’t own. You also can’t fully be yourself if you’re spending a whole lot of time wishing you were more like someone else.
I used to show up places and mak my true feelings, instincts and everything else and sort of tell people what they wanted to hear. I would worry that if they knew how I felt or what I thought for real that I’d be rejected. Instead… I was ineffectual. I was sort of play-acting through life and that isn’t very magnetic. After all, my ideas were too weird, I was too sensitive, I was too radical…
It dawned on me after I recovered from a massive illness that to heal I had to know how I actually felt. I had to get connected to my body, my home, my mind, my messed-up finances and my life story. I had to be very clear and very OK with everything. I didn’t have the luxury of stress, or I’d land back in the hospital. I didn’t have the ability to say it would take care of itself because it wouldn’t, and I could see it clearly.
I started telling people how I felt and I cleared a lot of people out of my life who were fair weather friends.
I started being real about my life and where I came from and who I am.
I started dropping shame, I started telling stories, I started tearing off the façade.
I also started making lots of money for the first time ever, exploring passions without needing to justify them and feeling really fantastic in every way.
When I find myself in situations I know are not for me and feel compelled to pretend my way through, that just doesn’t work. I feel like I’m back in that period of time where I found myself in a show, dancing around and hoping to convince people that I’m enough.
It doesn’t work, and if you’re ding it now, you’re not alone.
You can own whatever you’re trying to hide and when you do that you suddenly have what many people search for— wholeness. Power. Effectiveness.
You become what self-betterment philosophies promise but don’t always deliver.
Because yes, I can train my mind to make money but if it means leaving my soul to crumble, what’s the point? I can also attract all kinds of people by fixating on them but if I’m not whole in myself, what will I find in love but a mirror of that disassociation?
I know that old story. I had a lot of fabulous things around me and I couldn’t enjoy any of them because I was not me. I wouldn’t dare be me. If I was me, I believed I would be an outcast. Instead, I was an outcast inside of a life that was all false, weak, painful and full of so much work just to get through the day.
If you want to be the most effective person you can possibly be, you may want to just be you.
Even if you’ve made such horrible choices, come from a place that you’re happy to have left or want things that seem weird to other people.
Everything I do now, which ostensibly has helped maybe a bunch of the over 20 million people up till now who have encountered any of my writing alone, was weird, bizarre, unacceptable, crazy, stupid and a waste of my time according to the people that I knew when I was pretending to be someone who I wasn’t.
Reminded of that today as I had tea this morning, so happy to see an old familiar face, I couldn’t help but also be reminded of where I was when I last saw her— trying so hard to be anything but myself.
Owning your power isn’t just owning the great things you prize or what you aspire to achieve.
It’s owing everything else.
I still have bad days and months where I feel totally off and cry and feel sad. I don’t pretend they don’t exist, and they don’t last very long.
I still have doubt, fear, wondering why the hell I made certain choices— but I love that I do now because I care and don’t care to pretend that it’s not there because when I did, I lived a life that toppled me.
I don’t pretend to be perfect like I used to, but my life in every way is better than I could ever have imagined and it all happened out of this really basic decision to just be me.
Instead of trying to erase things, shine a light on them. Laugh about them. See them. Be OK with it all.
From that place, you can find so much more of what you’re looking for.
And you’ll see much more, right now, that you already have.
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Very important lesson! There have been some instances and some people I wish I could erase, but what I learned from those times and lessons are more valuable than those times never happening at all!
This is awesome to see. So powerful!!! xoxo
Oh Dana, this something I’ve been needing to read. I have owned much of my past, but some parts are still hard, and someone from my recent past is going to cross my life again, but i keep overthinkinf it and feeling bad and low. Oh, I wish I could stop comparing myself ane my path to others…
I feel you. And you can stop comparing any time you want to!!! Wishing you days of feeling fabulous and letting go of what’s not needed! There’s always going to be something to compare to, so it’s a cycle worth breaking! you got this one:) xoxo!!!